Posts made in February, 2018

Danny Newville – An updated timeline

In my last post, I mentioned I would be sharing some new theories, but before I do that, I’d like to update Danny’s timeline a bit. I’ve been trying to piece together his last day, but also, what was happening in Danny’s life just prior to that.

Kandiiyohi County Jail. Photo credit: West Central Tribune.

On July 31, 2002, Danny had just been released from the Kandiyohi County Jail. His dad, Russ, told me he’d been serving a 45 day sentence for a probation violation, but I was unsure what that violation was, or why he had been on probation in the first place.

In talking to one of Danny’s friends, I learned he had stolen a van sometime during 2001 and had spent some time at the juvenile detention center in Willmar for that offense. I assumed this is why Danny had been on probation at the time he was picked up in 2002, but I wasn’t sure. I checked with Detective Kent Bauman, the lead investigator on Danny’s case, but he was unable to share that information with me since Danny had been a juvenile at the time. For the same reason, he couldn’t share the exact reason for Danny’s probation violation either.

Dead end.

However, then I asked Detective Bauman if I could get a copy of Danny’s booking report from the Kandiyohi County Jail. Because Danny was a legal adult at the time he was transferred from juvenile detention to the adult jail, I figured this report would be public record. Turns out, it was.

So then, why was Danny in jail in the first place? According to the report, it appears he had been serving time for the following offenses at the time he was transferred to the adult jail:

  1. POSSESSION OF STOLEN PROPERTY
  2. RECKLESS DRIVING
  3. TAMPERING WITH A MOTOR VEHICLE

These all seem to jibe with the story I was told about Danny stealing a van and going joyriding in it with his friend. Maybe the charges stemmed from separate incidents, but whatever the case, Danny was serving out his sentence for these crimes he had previously committed.

I noticed one other small thing on the booking report… a reference to a tattoo Danny had on his right wrist… a single dot. I wondered what that meant. Does a single dot on your right wrist signify something? I have no idea… just curious.

Now then, back to the timeline. Here’s what I’ve managed to piece together so far. Keep in mind, none of this information has been verified by law enforcement. It is simply a running account of what I’ve gathered after talking to several of Danny’s friends and acquaintances.

Read next… Danny Newville – A few theories

 

Danny Newville Timeline

DATETIME ACTIVITY
6/24/2002Danny is transferred from the juvenile detention center to the Kandiyohi County Jail.
7/31/2002~1:00 PMDanny is released from the Kandiyohi County Jail.
Danny calls his friend B.K. to pick him up from jail. She is unable to pick him up because her car is broken down.
Danny calls his friend A.K. to pick up him up from jail. She drives into Willmar to pick him up and brings him back to the "party house"
Danny calls his friend R.H. from the party house. R.H. says Danny doesn't sound stressed or scared, but he does seem to "have a lot of energy."
Danny leaves the party house to walk over to his friend A.M.'s house in the Peaceful Hills trailer park.
Danny hangs out with A.M. and they chat in the front yard for a while. According to A.M., Danny doesn't seem stressed or afraid, and not long after, two girls show up in a car and Danny leaves with them.
Danny returns home to his grandfather’s house in Spicer. He showers and changes clothes. He calls his dad and asks him to leave his fishing pole out so he can swing by and pick it up later.
Danny returns to the party house.
8:40 PMSunset
After darkJ.N. spots Danny walking after dropping her kids off at their father's house near downtown New London. She offers him a ride and drops him back off at A.M.'s house again, in Peaceful Hills.
Danny returns to the party house.
8/1/2002~5:30 AMDanny calls A.M. and asks for a ride back to his house. A.M. doesn't have access to a car, so Danny tells him he's going to walk.
~5:30 AMG.P. stops by the party house after fishing and sees Danny there. They chat for a bit. G.P. has never met Danny before.
~5:30 AMDanny leaves the party house to walk back to his friend A.M.'s house.
5:58 AMSunrise

 

If you have a tip about Danny Newville’s disappearance, please contact:

Detective Kent Bauman
Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office
Phone: 320-214-6700, x3315
Email: 3315@co.kandiyohi.mn.us
Facebook Messenger:
https://www.facebook.com/Kandiyohi-County-Sheriffs-Office-471311649587923

You may also mail anonymous tips to:
Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office
2201 NE 23rd St, Suite 101
Willmar, MN 56201

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Happy 40th Birthday, Jacob

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Dear Jacob,

Today is your 40th birthday. Forty. It’s hard for me to picture you as forty because I still see you as that smiling 11 year old boy in a gold sweater. So, to see you as 40, I have to picture myself at 40… where I was at that time in my life, what I was doing, and where I hoped to be going.

My kids were 13 and 11 at that time… about the same age you were when you disappeared. We were so busy then. Our world revolved around sports… wrestling, football, baseball. I call these the “lawn chair years” because it seems like we were constantly just folding and unfolding our lawn chairs, packing them in the car, and heading to our next game.

And then, there were the snowboarding years. My friend Diane talked me into helping her chaperone the New London-Spicer ski club that went out to Powder Ridge every Friday night. My boys both wanted to join, so I figured, what the heck. It wasn’t long before I got bored with the skiing, so I decided to give snowboarding a try. Jordan and Cole made it look so fun and easy, I figured “how hard can it be?” As it turns out, plenty hard. I crashed almost every time I got off the chair lift, and I hit my head so many times, I finally resorted to buying a helmet. But, I stuck with it, and to this day, I still consider it one of my proudest accomplishments. I took up snowboarding at age 40, and I loved it! I have a feeling you would have, too.

By far though, the biggest thing I remember about turning 40 was the surprise party my friends threw for me. It was a Friday evening and I was just getting ready to settle in for the night, when, all of a sudden, my friends Betsy, Jane B, and Jane D showed up at my door wearing matching 70s outfits. They yelled, “Happy Birthday” and told me to pack a bag… they were taking me to see Boogie Wonderland at the Medina Ballroom.

I love disco music, and Boogie Wonderland was my favorite band at the time. We dressed up every time they came to Melvin’s in Spicer, and we danced on the beach all night long. The whole town was wild for Boogie Wonderland, and even the guys… even Ross… would dress up in crazy hair and tie-dye shirts.

The girls took me back to Jane B’s house so I could change into my own 70s outfit they had bought for me. My mini-dress was slightly different than theirs… black and white Mondrian squares vs. their primary colored ones. Clearly, I was to be the leading lady of this crazy entourage.

I put on my dress, matching hat, wig, and go-go boots, and off we went to Medina. Or, so I thought. Oops… Betsy forgot the tickets… we needed to stop by her house first. I was still completely oblivious to everything until someone suggested we should all go in for a quick beer before we took off for Medina. I figured it out then, but was still completely blown away when I walked in the door. There was a group of at least 30 people, all dressed in 70s outfits.

I started laughing so hard… I couldn’t recognize a single person. I started going one-by-one, greeting each person and trying to figure out who they were. My parents were there, along with several cousins and college buddies who had all driven in from the Cities. All the Bakers were there, and Ross’s brother Paul (Mr. Conservative) had shaven off the bottom of his goatee so he had this long crazy horseshoe mustache that reached all the way down to his chin. I absolutely didn’t recognize him at all, and when I finally figured out who he was, I laughed so hard I had tears streaming down my face.

I was so happy. I just couldn’t believe all the time and effort these people had gone through to make my 40th birthday so special. Most of them hate 70s disco music (or so they say), but we danced all night long… into the very wee hours. It was so incredibly fun.

So, that’s the memory I’m stuck with this morning as I think about you turning 40. I bet your friends would have thrown you a surprise party, too. I bet they would have come from far and wide for your party, just to see you smile and laugh when you got pranked. I wonder what kind of music you would have liked… which songs you would have danced to until the wee hours of the morning.

I was 11 years old when you were born. It was 1978, and I was in 6th grade… the same age you were when you disappeared. I was so happy and carefree then… I loved being 11 years old! We went to our Christmas tree farm almost every weekend, and I spent the days running and playing in the tree fields with my cousins. I think this is why I love 70s music so much. It brings me back to those times… being with my family and listening to the songs on the car radio during our hour-long car rides to and from the tree farm.

That made me wonder what songs were on the radio when you were 11. Maybe those would have been your favorites, too. So, I decided to look them up. Here’s a quick sample from Billboard’s top 100 songs of 1989:

  • Every Rose Has Its Thorn
  • Miss You Much
  • Wind Beneath My Wings
  • Right Here Waiting
  • Waiting For a Star to Fall
  • Lost In Your Eyes
  • Don’t Wanna Lose You
  • Heaven
  • Two Hearts
  • Listen to Your Heart
  • I’ll Be There for You
  • Like a Prayer
  • I’ll Be Loving You (Forever)
  • Eternal Flame
  • When I See You Smile
  • If I Could Turn Back Time

Umm… is it just me, or is that a deeply profound and ironic list of song titles?

But then, nothing surprises me anymore. Nothing is a coincidence. I am truly a different person because of you. Why? Well, here’s the deal.

Truth is, I was kind of a hot mess before you came into my life. Without even realizing it, I was in full-blown mid-life crisis by my mid-40s. I found myself searching so hard for the “next big thing,” that I seemed to have lost track of everything I had that was right in front of me.

I was feeling this intense pressure to find my true purpose… to use my gifts to make a difference. This constant feeling of unrest was making me (and everyone around me) absolutely crazy. Ultimately, that led to a downhill spiral that caused me to lose all my confidence, and without that, I didn’t even know who I was anymore. I was so far from the person I wanted to be, I didn’t think I’d ever find her again. I had become Sad Joy… a far cry from that happy, carefree 11 year old who loved to belt out 70s songs on the AM radio.

And then, you came along.

I can’t explain things very well from here on out, because I still have trouble making sense of it all. All I know is this… you saved me. You gave my life purpose and meaning. You took the pressure off. On the outside, I was insanely busy. I have no idea how I accomplished everything I did during those few years. But on the inside, I was intensely calm and focused. For the first time, I felt like I was using my gift of writing to truly make a difference. That meant everything to me. Still does.

Today may be your birthday, Jacob… but you are MY gift.

So, Happy Birthday to you on this momentous day. I’m sure your soul is shining brightly, and I imagine a big 80s surprise party for you up in heaven with everyone belting out Bobby Brown and Milli Vanilli songs. I will take your kind spirit and carry it in my heart as I continue to celebrate the rest of our Birth Month. Go Aquarius.

Peace.

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Danny Newville – Getting real

I apologize. I know these posts have been few and far between lately, but I promise, I haven’t been slacking. Since my last post, I’ve been talking to a lot of people and trying to piece things together.

I’ve learned a lot… little tidbits here and there that have started to form a clearer picture of the life Danny was leading before he disappeared. Mostly though, I’ve learned a lot about New London… this town where I live… my peaceful little “City on the Pond.” As it turns out, things were not so peaceful here back in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Just to recap… Danny Newville was allegedly last seen in the early morning hours of August 1, 2002 at a house party near downtown New London. He had just been released from the Kandiyohi County Jail that previous afternoon, after serving a 45 day sentence for a probation violation. He had turned 18 a few months prior (May 7th), so this was the first time Danny had ever served time in the adult prison.

In talking to one of Danny’s close friends, he asked me why Danny had been in jail in the first place… what was he in for? I told him that Danny’s father had told me it was for a probation violation, but I realized I didn’t know exactly what that violation was. I also didn’t know why Danny had been on probation at the time. I said I would check.

Danny’s friend went on to tell me that, in 2001, when he was 18 and Danny was 17, Danny had stolen a van and the two of them had gone joyriding in it. From what he could remember, the van belonged to a friend’s grandmother, and she knew Danny had taken it. However, when Danny hadn’t returned it after several days, it was reported stolen. Because he was only 17 at the time, Danny served time at the juvenile detention facility in Willmar for theft. His 18 year old friend was charged with harboring a stolen vehicle and had to serve time at the adult jail.

It seemed logical that this would have been the reason why Danny was on probation, but I decided to confirm this with Detective Kent Bauman at the Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office. He was unable to tell me Danny’s exact violation since it had occurred while he was still a juvenile. For the same reason, Detective Bauman was unable to tell me exactly how Danny had violated his probation. All he could legally tell me was that Danny had “failed to comply with the conditions of his probation,” meaning, he hadn’t followed the rules the judge had set for him. This could mean something as minor as failing to show up at a mandated meeting with his probation officer, all the way to getting picked up on a criminal charge. From what his friends have told me though, it didn’t seem like it was anything all that serious. He had only served 45 days, after all.

I asked Danny’s friend what he thought might have happened to Danny. He said he always figured it was drug related. He told me he had talked to Danny that day… the same day he got out of jail. Danny called him from the “party house,” sometime between 2:00-3:00 PM. He said he was just hanging out, and didn’t seem stressed about anything. One thing though. His friend did mention that Danny’s energy level was high, making him wonder whether Danny was “doped up” at the time he called him.

I wondered about this. Danny didn’t have a job, so if he was getting high, how was he paying for the drugs? His buddy had the same question. He wondered if Danny was possibly fronting drugs for someone.

OK… so, let’s talk about this “party house” for a moment. One of the people who lived there at the time has been very candid with me. Yes, there were underage kids who partied there. Yes, there were drugs being used there. And yes, there were even drugs being sold there. People came in and out at all hours, and to outsiders, it looked sketchy.

But for insiders, this house was a refuge. It was a place for friends to gather when they needed a place to stay, to get some food, or to feel safe. These were scrappy kids who learned at a young age to depend on themselves. Some came looking for a meal because there was nothing to eat at home. Some came to escape physical or verbal abuse. Some just wanted to hang out with friends who accepted them. But, one thing was always abundantly clear… these kids all had each other’s backs.

So… now let’s go back a few years earlier… to 1996. It was just before midnight on Friday, May 17th, and there was supposed to be a fist fight out at the ballfield by the DNR ponds. It may have started over a busted car window, but who knows. Whatever the case, things escalated quickly.

That same night, a fifteen year old girl was babysitting her two nieces (ages two and four) at her brother’s place in the Peaceful Hills trailer park. Suddenly, shots rang out from a car outside. The trailer was sprayed with bullets from a .22 caliber rifle and the girl was shot once in the abdomen and once in the hip.

The kids who were at the ballfield waiting for the fist fight to begin heard the shots and ran toward them. They followed the “snake trail” through the woods and arrived at Peaceful Hills faster than those who had jumped in their cars and driven there.

Read the article from the May 20, 1996 edition of the West Central Tribune

The girl lived. However, to this day, she still has a bullet lodged in her liver because it was too dangerous to remove surgically.

Things got scary after that. According to the girl who got shot, “everyone wigged out” and the stakes suddenly got much higher for this scrappy group of survivors.

So where was Danny in this mess? Nowhere. He was only 12 years old at the time, going to school and playing with his friends, just like any other 12 year old.

But, let’s be honest. Things weren’t all rosy for Danny and his family either. That same year, one of Danny’s uncles was convicted for drug trafficking and was sentenced to 132 months in federal prison.

A year later — when Danny was 13 — he started getting rebellious and skipping school. His family worried that he might be hanging out with the wrong crowd.

Also in 1997, drug enforcement officers raided the “party house” in New London, looking for drugs, guns, and other illegal activity. They found nothing. It would be five years before they returned again, this time looking for a missing 18 year old boy named Danny Newville.

Read next… Danny Newville – An updated timeline

If you have a tip about Danny Newville’s disappearance, please contact:

Detective Kent Bauman
Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office
Phone: 320-214-6700, x3315
Email: 3315@co.kandiyohi.mn.us
Facebook Messenger:
https://www.facebook.com/Kandiyohi-County-Sheriffs-Office-471311649587923

You may also mail anonymous tips to:
Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Office
2201 NE 23rd St, Suite 101
Willmar, MN 56201

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